In my prayer, Jesus stood to his feet and took me by his left hand. We walked from the darkened living room with the curtains drawn, through the hallway, and to each of the three bedrooms. Everywhere, we found piles of boxes waiting to be packed.
"Look at what Satan has done to your house!" Jesus said in each room.
HE: Through the Holy Spirit, I understood what Jesus intended as he led me through the house. I am the husband and head of the family. He wanted me to stop the messy packing, to unpack the boxes, set up the household, and prepare for my family's return through a firm attitude of hope. He wanted me to take the exact opposite direction from that of defeat. By grace, I now understood that a woman wants to return to a place of strength, not weakness.
I knew it was now my task to reclaim my household.
The next day I became very curious about my unusual experience with Jesus when he told me, "I am giving you a new heart. I am giving you My Heart." I wanted to see if this was supported in scripture. I was absolutely astonished at what I found in Ezekiel 11:19 and 36! I had never seen these verses before.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezk 36:26-27, NIV).
My Pastor Phil had an idea. He made an appointment for me with two lovely young women of faith. I'll call them Marsha and Sandy. They were young wives whose husbands were sentenced to life in prison. For two hours, I sat with them on the living room carpet of their apartment and learned about faith and God's healing love.
They vowed a commitment to remain faithful to their husbands and to believe they would someday live free with them again. I remember the main point they taught me.
“Words have power!
“Never speak a negative word to your wife if you want to see her again. If she speaks 'divorce,' don't even speak that word back to her. You must remain absolutely positive in your faith and in your words if you want God to heal your marriage.”
This is a strong key for partners suffering a marriage crisis.
HE: I was a humbled but eager man when I met my wife returning through the airport gate with our children. As we walked from the plane, I presented her with one regal red rose.
Together my wife and I determined we shouldn't stay in the city. I agreed to give up the current graduate studies and to return home. We packed the house together and drove back East. Together, we participated in Christian counseling. God even opened an impossible financial blessing, and we purchased a country home.
SHE: “Any Christian couple in a Christian Church should have help in the pastor,” said my wife. “I know there can be different women in the church praying for me, even as I pray for them. I expect the Holy Spirit to use the normal channels of the Christian life in a healthy church to bring answers, so these kinds of crises will not happen.”
HE: The point is God loves his people so much that he intervenes in our lives and heals us for each other. We looked to his face and passed through the rocks together and came out on the other side. God is the necessary first partner to the couple in any marriage.
“A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccl. 4:12, NKJ).